WR Stephen Hill on shaky ground

Questions about wide receiver Stephen Hill‘s future with the Jets intensified Tuesday as Rex Ryan gave him less than a full endorsement. (Post, Aug. 26)

“He’s had some strong moments, but there are others where we wish maybe he had hung on to a ball or so,” Ryan said of Hill, a 2012 second-round pick by former general manager Mike Tannenbaum. “But he’s had a pretty good training camp. I don’t want to say it’s been outstanding, but it’s been pretty good. . .He’s blocked consistently, but he just hasn’t had a lot of shots at catching the ball.”

Hill, who the team said was too ill to speak to the media after practice Monday and Tuesday, has just two catches for 29 yards in the Jets’ three preseason games. Earlier Tuesday, ESPN reported the Jets tried to trade Hill in the offseason.

With Saturday’s final cutdown approaching, Hill’s position seems tenuous given his pattern of drops and injuries and the fact he doesn’t play special teams. Ryan said Hill is likely to play Thursday against Philadelphia in the Jets’ final preseason game, perhaps another sign his time in New York is ending.

QB coach Lee says Michael Vick a ‘team guy’

Jets quarterback coach David Lee disputed a report last week that coaches were unhappy Michael Vick didn’t make more of an effort to win the starting job from Geno Smith. (ESPN, Aug. 26)

“Vick has been great, he’s been a great addition,” Lee said Tuesday, during his first interview since June. “He has come in here and done exactly what we asked him to do. He has pushed Geno. He’s been a tremendous competitor. The guy will compete and he’s been great in the classroom. Doesn’t talk a lot, but when he does, I listen. We all listen.

“I’m just shocked at what a team guy he’s been from the start,” Lee added. “You put him on the field and he’s a competing machine. His eyes change and he wants to go.”

Lee praised how Vick works with Smith.

“He’s been great for Geno. They get along really well. They trust each other. Mike has been dead honest. I hear those comments and he’s done nothing but enhance Geno’s chances of being a better professional quarterback,” he said.

Corner Darrin Walls sits out Tuesday practice

Cornerback Darrin Walls did not practice with the team on Tuesday due to a “minor” injury and won’t play in the final preseason game this Thursday against the Eagles. (NJ.com, August 26)

Coach Rex Ryan sounded unconcerned, saying that Walls had a minor leg injury that won’t impact his availability for for the Sept. 7 season home opener against the Oakland Raiders.

“He’s fine,” Ryan told reporters Tuesday.

Fourth on the depth chart a month ago, Walls has been thrust into an expanded role with injuries to Dee Milliner, Dexter McDougle and Antonio Allen.

In Walls place, corners Ellis Lankster and LeQuan Lewis will see extended time as the team’s preseason Week 4 starters.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Walls played significant time in last week’s matchup against the Giants, starting opposite Antonio Allen who left early with a concussion. It is good to hear that Walls availability for the first week of the season is not affected, but we can only hope that the Jets will get healthy, and in the case of Patterson, get their minds right for the start of the regular season.

Down with salsa…

Hill practicing, Milliner on bike

Stephen Hill is back at practice on Tuesday after being out with an illness.

Dee Milliner, Troy Davis, Antwan Barnes, Clyde Gates, Jeff Cumberland and others are in the trainer’s area to start practice.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

It’s hard to know what to take from Milliner hopping on the bike, other than it can be construed as progress.  High ankle sprains can take around six weeks (give or take) to heal and Milliner’s injury came on August 10th.  Depending on the severity of the injury, Milliner could be ready to go against the Raiders, or might not be able to play until Week 2 or 3.

Considering that the Jets will likely face either Matt Schaub (fingers crossed) or Derek Carr on opening weekend, the Jets might consider hedging their bets with Milliner until Week 2.

BGA Extra: Jets vs Giants

Welcome to BGA Extra, where I draw a line under the previous weekend’s game by responding to your questions from BGA during the week. After the jump, I respond to your questions about the game against the Giants. If you would like your questions answered in future, remember to read BGA each week and leave your question in the comments section.

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Patterson unhappy with CB depth chart?

Dimitri Patterson went AWOL before the Giants game, and didn’t have contact with the Jets until Sunday night.

On Monday, GM John Idzik announced Patterson would be suspended indefinitely.

Reports now say that Patterson left the team due to unhappiness with the team’s “cornerback pecking order,” according to reporter Manish Mehta (NYDN, Aug. 25).

“[Patterson] will be suspended indefinitely, and that will allow us to gather more information to what led to his behavior,” Idzik said.

Idzik expects the suspension to be brief, he said.

Patterson, though, said he is not going AWOL:

The Jets signed Patterson to a one-year, $3 million deal in April (TJB, April 1).

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

If this is in fact true, then Patterson is going to come off worse than he already has. If Dimitri Patterson is upset about the pecking order then he only has himself and his play to blame.  Jets aren’t exactly rushing other players in there ahead of him, the only player who could lay claim upsetting the order would be Antonio Allen. Patterson is this thin skinned, then it’s hard to imagine he would do you well getting picked on by opposing quarterbacks.

While this might not be acceptable behavior, the Jets don’t have a lot of choices right now when it comes to their secondary. We expect that Patterson, despite all of this, will make the roster and will be a contributor for the team this season.

Idzik and Rex Ryan talk to the media after the Jets suspended Dimitri Patterson for missing the team’s most recent game and practices.


Jets tried to trade Hill

The Jets tried to trade WR Stephen Hill this offseason. There were “no takers,” according to Adam Schefter (ESPN, Aug. 26).

That doesn’t mean that there might not be.  ESPN NY’s Rich Cimini spoke with an NFL executive to gauge interest for Hill.

“I think there would be some interest,” an AFC personnel executive told Cimini. “There aren’t a lot of free-agent wide receivers out there, so it’s supply and demand.” (ESPN NY, Aug. 26)

Hill has struggled in his time with the Jets. Recently, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he still has faith that wide receiver Stephen Hill can improve this season (Post, August 21).

“I was pleased with his progress [last year] up until he got nicked and then he got nicked again,” Mornhinweg said. “This year he was even more impressive in the offseason and through training camp, with a few exceptions. There were a couple of days there. So, he’s coming along. And in many cases, this is what happens, at all positions, but especially at the receiver position, that third year they make a pretty good jump. That’s what we’re looking for there.”

Earlier: The Rundown: All eyes on the Hill (TJB, Aug. 2)

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Trying to trade Hill in the lead-up to one of the richest and most talented receiver classes in the 2014 NFL Draft seems like a tough sell, so that they were unable to move him doesn’t surprise me.

If the Jets were serious about trading Hill last offseason, it puts a whole new spin on GM John Idzik’s statement to Hill after he ended the 2013 season in the IR.

At the time, Idzik reportedly told Hill that “we have a plan for you.” (SNY, Dec. 15, 2013)

Was that plan to ship Hill out of town?

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